Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Great Odin's Raven! Thor's back... and this time it's "dark". Well, of course it is  -  there seems to be an unwritten Hollywood law that all blockbuster sequels have to be bigger and darker. Luckily, this second visit to Asgard is a Marvel Studios production which means things don't get too dark and there's still room for some good, old-fashioned fun...
 After the Rainbow Bridge was destroyed in the first movie, the Nine Realms have erupted into chaos and the Asgardians have been busy keeping the peace, which is where we first encounter Thor and his allies, the Warriors Three and the lady Sif, defending peasant villages from marauders. In a nod to Thor's origin story waaaay back in Journey Into Mystery #83 our Asgardian prince even takes on one of the Stone Men from Saturn and reduces him to rubble...
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Thor's physicist girlfriend, Jane Foster, stumbles across another of those ancient, cosmic power-sources that always seem to be waiting to be discovered in the Marvel Universe. This MacGuffin, the Aether, belonged to the Dark Elves, an evil race from the dawn of time, who were defeated by the Asgardians before they could plunge the cosmos into darkness. The discovery of the Aether is a wake-up call for the Dark Elves' leader, Malekith ( Chris "The Doctor" Eccleston ), who promptly emerges from his ages-long sleep, assembles an army and heads to Asgard for vengeance.
Thor: The Dark World is, as I said above, a load of fun. Plenty of world-hopping action and mayhem, Chris Hemsworth proving again to be an effortlessly charismatic Thunder God, a couple of pleasing cameos ( one being from Stan The Man of course ), a surprising amount of humour ( Thor takes the Tube? ) to counterpoint all the apocalyptic chaos, beefed-up roles for Renee Russo and Idris Elba, and a far greater time spent in the fantastically well-realised Realm Eternal than in the previous movie. And then, of course, there's Loki...
Yet again, Tom Hiddleston almost hijacks the whole movie as the scheming, lying, charming God of Mischief. His scenes with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are a delight and there are a couple of third act twists and turns involving his character that are worth the price of admission on their own. Chris Eccleston, however, as main bad guy Malekith is not so well served and could have done with a few more scenes to really make an impact. The same goes for the Warriors Three and Jaimie Alexander as warrior maiden Sif  -  please can we have more Sif next time, Marvel execs? She's awesome and it's about time she made a move on our favourite Thunder God. Anyway, these are only minor quibbles. I enjoyed the film immensely ( gotta rate it Four Out Of Five Uru Hammers )... and so did James, whose comment as we left the cinema was "That's another one for Blu-Ray..."
So sayeth we all!

Soundtrack: So Much For The City by The Thrills ( whatever happened to them...? )

3 comments:

Richard Bensam said...

This is encouraging to read. Someone else I know who saw the film was pretty scathing about plot holes and logical missteps in the script. I have a feeling I'll agree with both of you: I'll find it totally illogical but enjoy it anyway. After all, I grew up imbibing all those Stan Lee scripts that don't stand up to rational analysis either...

(I'm much more interested in the new Cap film anyway; out of all the Marvel films the first Captain America was my favorite by a wide margin, and had the strongest script. I'm hoping the sequel isn't a huge letdown.)

Anonymous said...

By the bristling beard of Zeus, I'm gonna wait 'til it comes on cable.
Screw 'em!

cerebus660 said...

@Richard
There were certainly some plot elements that wouldn't stand up to much scrutiny... but I was enjoying the movie too much to worry about it. It's a Hollywood blockbuster, not a Bergman or Fellini chin-stroking art movie.
I hear what you're saying about Stan Lee scripts :-) I'd definitely rather read Stan's corny, simplistic but fun stories than most of today's grim 'n' gritty fare...

@Anonymous
For Odin! For Asgard! For cheaper movie tickets!

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